Improving MP3 sound quality on AV receiver

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by StartWars, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. StartWars

    StartWars
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    I've been using a Pioneer VSX 323 AV receiver and Tannoy TFX 5.1 speaker package, and the sound quality has been very satisfactory when watching blu-rays in surround sound. The same can't be said when streaming MP3s on my PS3 in stereo mode however.

    It's hard to describe, but the sound seems to lack depth and sounds flat overall, particularly during sections with lots of bass. I've tried switching between some of the presets designed for music such as Classic/Pop, Classical etc but this only sounds worse, and adjusting the bass through the AV receiver doesn't seem to make much difference either. It sounds better on my PC speakers which seems odd considering I paid considerably more for the receiver and speakers.

    Are there any settings I've yet to discover anyone would recommend for improving MP3 playback?
     
  2. PSM1

    PSM1
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    What bitrate are the MP3s ripped at? How are the speakers set up within the amp? I assume speakers set to small but what is the crossover point?
    A budget AVR and sub/sat speaker set is never going to be great with music since the sub often has to take up too much of the slack from the satellite speakers. You will probably find a speaker upgrade to a system based on standmount speakers will give good gains in the stereo performance even with your current receiver. Bear in mind a general rule of thumb is you need to spend 4 to 5 times the price of a stereo amp to get the same sound quality in an AVR. so divide the cost of your 323 by 4 or 5 times to see what sort of level of stereo amp would be the equivalent.
    Another issue could be as you get better kit you start to hear the weaknesses in the source material. Poorly mastered material can be revealed as the kit gets better. So just because the amp/speakers are better does not mean all sources will sound better since the more revealing nature of better kit will show up more of the flaws (although a well mastered soundtrack, like on blurays etc, can sound much better).
     
  3. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer
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    Unfortunately you have a system where the poor audio quality of MP3s comes through after listening to good HD sound.
    Lack of bass and reduced detail for example.
     
  4. dante01

    dante01
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    MP3 is a lossy compressed audio format. The compression applied in order to make the file size smaller discards aspects of the audio relating to the bass, fidelity and resolution of the audio. Once these aspects of the audio are gone then you cannot put them back. The old adage is still true and garbage in will still result in garbage out irrespective of the sound processing applied by an AV receiver.

    The best way to improve MP3 playback is to stop using MP3 compression. Some receivers do have compressed format enhancements that try to mask what the compression has done, but even such processing can only disguise the damage and cannot repair it.
     
  5. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer
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    Agreed.
     
  6. StartWars

    StartWars
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    Thanks for the responses so far.

    MP3s are 320KPS. Speakers are indeed set to small and 80khz crossover.

    I did wonder myself if it's simply because I'm comparing the stereo MP3 sound to 5.1 DTS HD from a blu-ray. But having said that, there's still something lacking as they sound better on my Logitech Z506 PC speakers. I did also try to sample music on Sony's streaming service but found the same problem.
     
  7. StartWars

    StartWars
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    Should I be setting the crossover point differently?
     
  8. mtenga

    mtenga
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    Try setting it higher and sending more to the sub. They are after all small speakers. Just experiment.
     

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